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The X-Files: BUNNY

“Is it even a date if there’s no attempted murder”

 

FADE IN:

INT - X FILES OFFICE - DAY

Scully: God, what a day. I don't think I've ever been so relieved to see an orangutan.

Mulder: Y'know, I bet the orangutan was thinking the same thing. Here—you forgot your donuts.

(Scully rolls her eyes but takes the donuts.)

Mulder: So, uh, what are you doing this weekend?

(Scully looks puzzled for a moment, but then gleeful realization spreads over her face.)

Scully: Nothing. I'm doing nothing. No plans and it's going to be amazing. Ta-ta!

(She heads out of the office, practically dancing. A beat. Mulder slowly packs up his stuff and leaves. He turns the lights off. A pencil falls from the ceiling.)

 

INTERCUT EVENING MONTAGES

(Mulder driving home. We get a strong sense of boredom, ennui, whatever. Then he perks up at the sight of a bar and makes a spur-of-the-moment decision to pull into the parking lot. He slides into a seat at the bar.)

(Scully relaxing, dancing to the radio while munching on the donuts—then watching a comedy show and laughing her ass off. She's having a fantastic time.)

 

INT - THE BAR - EVENING

(Mulder sitting at the bar, tie off, has had a drink or two, not looking any less bored. He has not picked up any joie de vivre. The bar is full of extremely boring people. BUT THEN—a pretty blonde woman slides into the seat next to him. She's dressed with a balance of practicality and style. Oddly, she's wearing gloves even though it's a hot summer night.)

BUNNY: Two Old Fashioneds, please.

(Mulder looks up, confused.)

Bunny: You look like you could use a pick-me-up.

Mulder: Thanks.

(The drinks arrive and she passes him his. He takes a swig, then realizes this is when he’s supposed to make conversation or flirt but he's coming up blank. She looks at him, carefully studying his face, filing it away or maybe just examining every detail of his appearance.)

Mulder: Do I have something on my face?

Bunny: Oh, no, I just—ah— (She tucks her hair behind her ear.) I've never bought a man a drink before.

Mulder: Yeah?

Bunny: Yeah.

Mulder: Well, why me?

Bunny: You just seemed... interesting. I think we'd get along.

Mulder: How come?

Bunny: (shrugs) Just a hunch. What's your name?

Mulder: Ah—Fox. You?

Bunny: It's Bunny.

(The bar lists strongly, nauseatingly. Mulder fumbles at his glass and knocks it over. Bunny is smiling at him.)

Mulder: (sounding very far away) Bunny... huh? Bunny.

(Ringing noises, garbled sounds, the bar floor and Mulder's stumbling feet, blackout.)

 

FADE INTO:

INT, BUNNY’S TRUCK - SUNSET

(Mulder POV slumped in front seat. He tries to move his hands but can only manage a twitch. "Summer of '69" is playing on the tinny radio. She looks over at him and grins. The mood is unnerving, the chill of a sudden thunderstorm at the beach.)

(Shot of the truck from behind, cresting a hill; the truck is an old Ford, seafoam green where it isn’t rusted. You can see a vulture wheeling overhead.)

Mulder: Buh...

Bunny: Oh, you’re cute like that. Don’t try to talk.

(over radio: “those were... the best days of my liiiiiiiiiiife…”)

 

INT - SCULLY’S APARTMENT - NIGHT

(Scully in a bubble bath, doing sudoku. The phone rings.)

ROSA (on phone): Hey Dana, is this a bad time?

Scully: Rosa! No, I'm not doing anything, what's up?

Rosa: Sooo, because it's Friday at 7pm and I have no life... I'm doing cold cases.

Scully: Naturally.

Rosa: And because it's Friday at 7pm and you have no life, I thought you'd want to look at this thing I just found.

(Scully purses her lips.)

Rosa: You're making the face, I can hear it. You know I'm right though.

Scully: (sighs) What is it?

(Rosa clears her throat, clearly excited about this.)

Rosa: I have 8 murder cases here, dated from 1979 to 1994. Victims match a profile, all happened within 50 miles of DC. I think they could be connected. Serial. Can I send ‘em over?

Scully (opening laptop on convenient table next to bath): You know, you are the biggest nerd I’ve ever met... Fine.

 

EXT - CABIN - NIGHT

(Bunny’s small log cabin, lit only by an oil lamp in the window. Nothing around for miles.)

TITLE CARD: 9:34PM. VIRGINIA, NEAR I-79.

 

INT - CABIN - NIGHT

(Darkness. Log-splitting or sawing noises. Bunny building and lighting a fire in a small fireplace - the action and the way this is cut should be very violent. Then the firelight flares up—slowly revealing Mulder, his wrists chained to a wooden beam that forms the crosspiece of the small cabin’s roof. We can just barely see that there's a rope around his neck, going up to a pulley on the beam—more on that later. Bunny stands nearby and watches him wake up.)

Mulder: Mnh?

Bunny: Hi, Fox.

(She steps closer to him, slowly. We can see she's holding a hunting knife, sizable and well-made.)

Mulder (still not fully lucid): Whoa, whoa, whoa, this isn't—

(Bunny closes the distance to him with a snarl and slashes and tears his shirt to pieces. She rips it away, looking wild-eyed and breathless and smiling. In the next instant she has the blade of the knife under Mulder's chin.)

Bunny: Oh, you're going to be a treat.

(She drags the knife down to his chest, tracing patterns that at first seem to be aimless—but then the blood starts to bead up, and we realize she's scoring a huge pentagram into his skin.)

(Mulder makes a noise of protest. Bunny, hum-laughing and tipsy with the high of hurting him, takes some of the blood on her fingers and tastes it.)

Bunny (laughing): Fo-ox.

(She wraps her arm around his waist, pressing the point of the knife into Mulder's stomach. He gasps—we can see that he's properly scared now, although he's trying not to show it.)

Bunny: Mmm. You know, I don't do this often. (She kisses his cheek.) You're special.

(Abruptly she breaks away and goes into the kitchen—Mulder tries to look after her, but he can't see where she's gone. The TV turns on faintly—it's the same comedy channel Scully was watching. Ominous noises of things going into a box.)

 

INT - SCULLY’S APARTMENT - NIGHT

(Scully, out of the bath and in a towel and robe, in front of her computer, still on the phone.)

Scully: But how do you know they're connected?

Rosa: I don't, not for sure. But get this—an old Ford pickup in seafoam green was spotted in six out of eight cases. And then there's the occult stuff.

Scully: Occult stuff?

Rosa: Yeah, you’re gonna love this. Look at the pictures on the '94 case, Ted Hawkins.

Scully: (opens up a picture of a similarly bloody-pentagrammed chest) ...Huh. Cult, you think?

Rosa: Nah, looks like a single actor to me.

Scully: Here, did you see this? Family members said Ted always wore an earring, but it wasn't recovered. You thinking what I'm thinking?

Rosa: Yep. Trophy! And there's others too: a fountain pen in '80, wedding ring in '85, lucky coin in '91.

Scully: Couldn’t’ve been that lucky.

 

INT - CABIN - NIGHT

(Bunny's kitchen table. Pentagram burned into the wood, black candles lit, she's laying the trophies out around the star. Mulder's badge goes in the center. He's watching her.)

Mulder: So, what's with the spooky stuff?

Bunny: Hm?

Mulder: It's just, you don't seem like the type. I've met plenty of Satanists. Generally, they're lovely people.

Bunny: Atmosphere is everything, Fox. Plus, it'll give your FBI buddies something to wonder about. If they ever show up.

 

INT - SCULLY’S APARTMENT - NIGHT

Scully: Well there you go. Rosa, this is amazing, you've practically solved this case.

Rosa: Yeah, I wish. Nine cases and no fingerprints, no DNA evidence—I don't know where to start. Even the profile I'm putting together doesn't make sense. Whoever this killer is, he's good at covering his tracks.

 

INT - CABIN - NIGHT

(Out of the cardboard box Bunny pulls - a large crowbar. Mulder flinches.)

Mulder: Bunn—

(She drags the crowbar across the concrete floor, making it ring—then rushes toward him, hitting him hard in the stomach. Hits him again and again, chest and stomach and back. Ribs cracking. Mulder grunting and gasping. The chains are starting to cut into his wrists, sending blood trickling down his arms.)

Bunny: (murmuring absentmindedly) That’s it, Fox. Let me hear you. Now—

(Bunny grins. With a roll of her wrist she twirls the crowbar and brings it up square between Mulder’s legs. He gives a high pitched gasp and passes out.)

Bunny: Fox? (slapping his face) Fox! ... Oh, honestly.

(Annoyed, she tosses the crowbar at Mulder’s feet and walks away.)

 

INT - SCULLY’S APARTMENT - NIGHT

Scully: You know, my partner was a brilliant profiler before he got into all the spooky stuff. I'll give him a call.

Rosa: Dana, it's 2am!

Scully: Trust me, he's up.

(She dials. Extended ringing.)

INTERCUT:

(Mulder's phone ringing, in the bushes under an obscured "Welcome to _______" sign.)

CUT BACK TO:

(Scully gets Mulder's voicemail. She looks over at what she's scribbled on a notepad. "Victims: male, 25-40, brown or blond hair. DC or surrounding states")

Scully: (under breath) Oh, shit.

 

INT - CABIN - NIGHT

(Bunny tracing the now-purple bruises on Mulder's chest with her hand. He’s awake but not looking great. She has the knife again. She presses on a broken rib, and when Mulder cries out, she gets the kind of look on her face that you get when you take a bite of REALLY good chocolate cake.)

Mulder (gasping): Fuck! Hell of a first date.

Bunny: Mm. Enjoy it—you're not getting a second.

Mulder: Anything I can do to convince you otherwise?

Bunny: You could beg... but that doesn't seem like your style.

Mulder: Sorry.

Bunny: It's all right. It doesn't work anyway.

Mulder: Bunny... what happened to you? Abusive parents? Bad relationship?

Bunny: Mm, what makes you think it was that?

Mulder: Just seems something had to make you this way.

Bunny: Not every killer is made, Fox. Some are born.

(She looks sad, even remorseful—but stabs him in the stomach anyway. Twists the knife hard. Mulder screams. Then we realize Bunny is screaming too, through gritted teeth, tears squeezing out of her eyes.)

Bunny: I didn't want this. It was going to be a new leaf, a normal night out—but I couldn't fucking stop myself. (Her face shows self-hate, anger, but also the relief of telling someone.)

Mulder: You can still fix it.

(Bunny snarls and yanks on the rope, choking Mulder.)

Bunny: No. I'll always be a killer.

(This goes on long enough for us to get pretty nervous. Finally Bunny twists the knife again and yanks it out, stumbling a few steps away and turning her back to him. She swipes at her eyes with her arm, smearing Mulder's blood across her forehead. The edge of the knife drips.)

Mulder (rasping): Bunny. Make it right. Not for me... for you.

 

INT/EXT - HIGHWAY - NIGHT

(A dark Virginia road. Scully driving like a bat out of hell, with Rosa in the passenger's seat clutching her case files.)

Rosa: This is crazy! We have no idea where to look!

Scully: You got a better plan?

(They pass the obscured "Welcome to ______" sign.)

 

EXT - GAS STATION - NIGHT

(A very small gas station, tiny parking lot, one pump, one payphone. A figure drags a heavy bundle out of the trees, just to the edge of the parking lot but still obscured by the shadows. Then it darts to the payphone, punches in a few numbers, and leaves it dangling off the hook.)

PHONE OPERATOR: 911, where is your emergency located? ...Hello? ...Hello?

(Seconds later, Scully's car roars into the parking lot, soon followed by an ambulance. She and Rosa charge out.)

Rosa: Oh my god—there.

(The bundle is Mulder, half conscious, wrapped in a ratty plaid blanket. Scully claws the blanket open, checks his pulse, notes his injuries.)

Scully: Mulder. Oh, Christ. MULDER.

(Mulder stirs, faintly singing/muttering the Shaft theme song. Rosa helps Scully apply pressure to the stab wound. Paramedics show up with a stretcher.)

Scully: He's got broken ribs and a stab wound to the stomach. Possibly a punctured lung.

Paramedic: Got it.

(They load him into the ambulance. Rosa puts an arm around Scully and walks her back to the car.)

 

INT - HOSPITAL HALLWAY - DAY

TITLE CARD: WASHINGTON NATIONAL HOSPITAL, 2:00PM

(Scully knocks on Mulder's door, carrying flowers and a package of sunflower seeds. Rosa's with her. Mulder is looking worse for wear, but he's awake and alert.)

Scully: Hey, Mulder.

Mulder (managing to hold up a hand): I know, I know. You don't have to say it.

Scully: Mulder—

Mulder: No, you're absolutely right. I shoulda just hired a dominatrix. (He coughs, then winces.) I just wanted it to be the real deal, you know?

Scully: (makes The Face) I bet the staff is really enjoying your humor.

Mulder: Nah. I saved it all up for you. Who's this?

Scully: Oh—my friend Rosa, from the academy. She'll want to get a statement from you. Turns out, your case is her case.

Mulder: Sure thing... but good luck. I think Bunny'll be a tough nut to crack.

Rosa: "Bunny?"

 

FADE TO EXT - CABIN - DAY

(In the middle-of-nowhere Virginia woods, at the end of a dirt road, the burned-out, smoldering shells of Bunny’s truck and cabin. The only things not burned are the trophies, in a heap on the threshold, and a note pinned with Bunny’s knife to the remains of the doorframe: “DEAREST FOX, THANKS FOR THE DATE. LOVE, BUNNY”)